Human-caused pollution

All around us we hear people screaming about climate change.

Everything that is wrong in our society is a result of climate change it seems, from wildfires to floods via inflation labor shortage and waiting lists for medical treatments.

Aren’t these cries a little unsubstantiated? Climate has always been changing. Scientists have revealed that 600 million years ago the climate was already changing. I am not saying human activity isn’t impacting our environment. It is, but we could look at it as human-caused pollution in the broadest meaning of the word.

The real threat to the world isn’t the use of oil and gas. Satellite images show the world has never been as green as today because an elevated level of CO2 combined with N2 are the perfect ingredients for our earth’s vegetation.

Of course the temperature on earth rising since the Industrial Revolution began. And naturally we humans should do something about it. Net zero carbon by 2050 however is an irrational goal. A better goal is CO2 and N2, PFAS and waste reduction. Therefore hybrid cars are better than e-vehicles. Hydrogen, as an energy transmitter, is better than full electric.

Biofuels are an underestimated alternative. Synthetic kerosine for airplanes will have an immense and positive impact on emissions by the aviation industry. Nuclear is a partial alternative and we can pursue carbon capture. All together that’s a great mix to combat global warming.

In parallel, oil will be needed for a long long time because some products we use have no other source for their production process. On what roads will we drive our Teslas if we closed our refineries? Are we going back to dirt roads in town because we ran out of asphalt? Do we have an alternative for our car tires when oil production stops?

When oil production stops we will hardly have a chemical industry anymore, will we? Without oil, how are we going to insulate our electrical wires? No oil, no electrical wires, so no electric vehicles.

The real threat to the world is the explosive growth of the human population. We are at eight billion people and soon we will get to 10 billion, probably before 2050.

John Kerry, the top U.S. envoy for climate, recently said this planet won’t be able to feed 10 billion people. And still we let this growth continue.

Today’s wars are still about oil and gas, but sooner than we think, wars will be fought about food and water.

This spring, Canada is being battered by forest fires, too early and too many in the season. Is it because of climate change? I don’t think so. There is more to it. Issues like these are complex. Canada and BC have always been hit by forest fires. That these wildfires seem to have a growing impact on our society, isn’t solely because of global warming, but because of an exponential growth in urbanization without planning for fire protection. We cannot deny that many wildfires are human caused, in other words they are in many cases the result of irresponsible behaviour of humans. A permanent ban on open fires for the entire great outdoors in Canada would be the most simple action our federal government could take immediately.

As campfires are part of Canadian tradition, the federal government could invest time and money in anti-campfire campaigns.

The U.S., South Africa, Australia and New Zealand have sent firefighters to Canada. France, Spain and Italy are very soon going to send firefighters too. Wasn’t it a shame that when Turkey and Syria, not so long ago, were hit by an unprecedented and devastating earthquake, Canada wasn’t able to send a single rescue team with a rescue dog to the damaged area to help search for survivors?

When a suspicious balloon showed up in Canadian airspace recently, it was an American fighter jet that did the dirty work of shooting it down and mysteriously the debris was hard to find. Could our own airforce not have handled that situation?

Last week the the International Monetary Fund, sent out a new financial report that contained a chapter on Canada that read: “Out of the G7 countries Canada is the closest at risk of a mortgages default”.

I wonder, was (Conservative Leader) Pierre Poilievre right when he said: “Canada is broken”?

But the real question is, would he do a better job than our current prime minister?

That is in the future and maybe we will never find out.

Ronald Ratgers, Kelowna

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